Sunday, 24 June, 2018

German city evacuating high-rise found with flammable material

Ellis Copeland | 28 June, 2017, 04:40

Cladding material used in the construction of the Grenfell Tower in London was thought to be a key factor in the quick spread of the devastating fire on June 14th.

Earlier tests on cladding resulted in hundreds of residents being evacuated from a high-rise estate in Camden, north London, after fire inspectors said the blocks were not safe. "I know that the will to positively contribute from professional bodies and others is strong and we will deploy this to support our work".

"They are interpreting that document to say the cladding should have been of limited combustibility but it doesn't actually say that; they are testing it more severely than might have been done in the past because people didn't think it required that level of testing".

British Prime Minister Theresa May demanded a "major national investigation" into exterior cladding used in high-rise buildings after police identified a five-year-old boy as the youngest victim of the Grenfell tower fire. Sajid Javid, Secretary of Sate for Communities and Local Government, announced on Monday that, so far, every sample received as part of the testing program had failed to meet fire safety standards.

"Hospitals are well prepared - each one has a tailored fire safety plan".

The number of displaced households now in emergency accommodation following the fire has risen to 386, the Grenfell Response Team said.

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The minister also warned unsafe cladding "may not be a problem unique to social housing or tall buildings".

"But now we have witnessed a catastrophic failure, on a scale many thought impossible in 21st-century Britain".

In the Commons on Monday, Javid said: "My department is working with the Government Property Unit to oversee checks on wider public sector buildings".

Fire inspectors have reviewed Wuppertal's roughly 70 high-rise buildings, according to spokeswoman Martina Eckermann, since the London fire, which killed at least 79 people.

Mrs May's call came as Cabinet was informed 95 samples of cladding from tower blocks in 32 English local authority areas have failed fire safety tests - amounting to 100 per cent of all samples submitted by councils.

In addition to discovering of the sort of insulation material under scrutiny after the blaze in London, government officials also found that the building's escape routes were too close to the facade, making them useless in the event of a fire.

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